EDMONTON -- The success of the new-look Edmonton Eskimos offence can’t be credited to Head Coach Kavis Reed alone.
Rather, much of the praise should also fall onto the lap of starting quarterback Kerry Joseph.
- Kavis Reed
In the two games since Reed announced that he’d be handling the offence along with Marcus Crandell, while naming Joseph the team’s undisputed starting quarterback in the process, the Esks have put up an impressive 72 points with two consecutive victories.
Even more impressive is that the team has virtually no resemblance to the one that played to a five-game losing streak, one that saw them score just 89 points during that stretch.
Reed credits the work of his pivot for the team’s sweeping improvement.
“Kerry is a championship quarterback at this time,” said Reed on Monday.
“He has a complete understanding of our offence and the system. He’s an exceptional leader and he understands this game,” he added.
In two games, Joseph has completed 43 of his 68 passes for 639 yards and six touchdowns. He has also been effective on the ground, rushing for 71 yards on seven carries.
Stats aside, Reed has been impressed with the demeanor in which Joseph has handled himself throughout his team's recent surge.
“He’s a fierce competitor, and not to say that Matt (Nichols) or Steven (Jyles) don’t have those qualities, but not to the degree that Kerry has and that’s through the experience Kerry has.”
With just three games remaining in the 2012 season, Joseph and the Esks sit in fourth place in the West, but are currently in a position to cross over into the East and take on the Toronto Argonauts in the Eastern Division Semi-Final.
It’s a position that Reed believes Joseph can thrive in.
“Kerry has won a Grey Cup, Kerry has been on teams where he’s had to struggle, he has seen adversity and he’s come through it very successfully,” said Reed.
“So those qualities are needed on this football team right now and that’s why he’s the starter.”
Suffice to say, Joseph has been exceeding expectations in the early-goings of his new gig as the Green and Gold’s official number one passer.
“He was brought in last year to be a mentor to guys like Matt Nichols and Eric Ward and to help us develop that next guy,” said Reed.
“Kerry did a phenomenal job last year in that role and he’s continued to do that this year and felt at this time the football team needs his leadership.